The political chessboard of 2019

2019 witnessed elections across the globe. From Israel set to conduct third re-elections next year, to the world's largest democratic elections in India, here is a glimpse into the political upheavals of 2019.

African economic powerhouse went into elections

Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence.

Voters queue to cast their votes at Shagari Health Unit polling station in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria on the day of the general elections.

Some 120,000 polling stations began opened early in the morning on election day, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff.

(Photograph:AFP)

Results in Nigeria with accusations of rigging

All Progressives Congress Party (APC) supporters celebrate after initial results were released by the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano, on February 25, 2019, two days after general elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari of colluding with the electoral commission in an attempt to "manipulate the results".

(Photograph:AFP)

The world's largest democracy

Indian nuns from the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charities queue to cast their votes. A paramilitary force personnel interacts with them at a polling station at St. Mary's School in Kolkata on May 19, 2019, during the 7th and final phase of India's general election.

The election would determine whether the incumbent Hindu-Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi would win the people's mandate again, after 5 years of his government in New Delhi.

(Photograph:AFP)

Victorious on the grandest scale

An Indian supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wear a mask of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as she celebrates on the vote results day for India's general election in Chennai on May 23, 2019.

PM Narendra Modi looked on-course on May 23 for a major victory in the world's biggest election, with early trends suggesting the BJP will win a bigger majority even than 2014.

(Photograph:AFP)

Presidents' vote for the President

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko talks to the press next to his wife Maryna after casting his ballot at a polling station in Kiev during the second round of Ukraine's presidential election on April 21, 2019.

Poroshenko was elected Preisdent in the 2014 presidential elections, with a vote share of 54.7 per cent, thereby winning outright.

(Photograph:AFP)

A new generation

A month after scoring a landslide election victory against incumbent Poroshenko, the 41-year-old  Volodymyr Zelensky became Ukraine's youngest post-Soviet president, taking oath during his inauguration ceremony at the parliament in Kiev on May 201, 2019.

Zelensky stepped into his new role as Ukrainian president, launching a new era for the country wracked by war and economic difficulties.

 

(Photograph:AFP)

United for Brexit?

The United Kingdom took to the ballot on December 12, 2019, to choose on voting to form a government which would pursue Brexit, or whether the country would stay on course as a member of the EU.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on path for a decisive majority, exit polls indicated after voting closed in Britain's general election, paving the way for Brexit.

(Photograph:AFP)

Britain with Boris

An arrangement of UK daily newspapers dated December 13, 2019 shows front page headlines reporting on the projected election result based on exit polls in the UK general election.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson proclaimed a political "earthquake" after his thumping election victory cleared Britain's way to finally leave the European Union after years of damaging deadlock over Brexit.

(Photograph:AFP)

Left, Right or Centre?

People are seen at a polling station in Warsaw during the parliamentary elections on October 13, 2019.

Poland went into elections in October, the results of which would give proof of the standard of governance by the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS). The main opposition to the incumbent government was from 'the Left' alliance and the civic coalition.

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Continuity of the Right

Leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski (R) and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki react after the first exit polls during the party's electoral evening in Warsaw, Poland, on October 13, 2019.

Poland's governing right-wing party (PiS) won the general election in Poland, expanding its majority and reassuring the continuity of its government.

(Photograph:AFP)

Elections in the promised land

Supporters of Israel's opposition Blue-and-White centrist alliance attend an election campaign meeting in the Arab town of Shefa-'Amr in Northern Israel on August 26, 2019.

On the outskirts of the Israeli Arab town of Shefa Amr there are no posters advertising the meeting being held at an open-air restaurant deep in an orchard.

Only inside the town do Hebrew and Arabic-language campaign billboards provide any visible evidence of the looming showdown between supporters and opponents of veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the election.

(Photograph:AFP)

Israeli stalemate

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at his Likud Party headquarters in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on election night early on April 10, 2019.

The results of the election would lead to a stalemate situation, with both the Likud as well as the Blue-and-White being unable to form government in the Knesset. A re-election would be held later in 2019.

(Photograph:AFP)

No government in the Knesset

Israeli Kahol Lavan (Blue and White) political alliance leader Benny Gantz addresses his supporters in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on October 31, 2019, to thank them for September's general elections.

Elections were held once again in less than a year; and once again no government was formed. The political stalemate rocked the Knesset again with neither the incumbent Likud, nor the heavy contender Blue-and-White alliance gathering enough seats to form government.

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Re-Elections for a third go

Israeli Likud party supporters wave a Trump 2020 electoral banner supporting the incumbent US president in the upcoming election, as they react to exit polls at the Likud's campaign headquarters in the coastal city of Tel Aviv early on September 18, 2019.

Results showed Netanyahu's right-wing Likud and Gantz's centrist Blue-and-White alliance locked in a tight race with between 31 and 34 parliament seats each out of 120, raising the possibility of another deadlock.

A third round of elections will take place in March 2020.

(Photograph:AFP)

Elections in war-torn Afghanistan

'Pakistani retired general Shahid Aziz had close ties with Al Qaeda'Afghan CEO rejects presidential polls' results, announces formation of 'inclusive govt'

(Photograph:AFP)

A second term

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gives a speech during a press conference after the announcement of the preliminary elections results in Kabul on December 22, 2019.

President Ghani appeared to have secured a second term, narrowly scoring an outright win in preliminary polling results, but his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah - the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, immediately vowed to challenge the tally.

(Photograph:AFP)

Islands up for election

Maldives headed into election in September this year, with opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih running for the presidency. Here is a photo of a Solih rally in the capital Male.

Voting began in a controversial presidential election in on September 23, amid fears that the process has been rigged in China-friendly strongman Abdulla Yameen's favour.

(Photograph:AFP)

New leader of the island nation

Maldivian opposition candidate Ibrahim Solih waves during a march to the Election Commission to submit his application for President along with his running mate Faisal Naseem, in the capital city Male.

The elections resulted in Solih's favour with his party - the Maldivian Democratic Party - winning 40 per cent of the vote share.

(Photograph:AFP)

Return of Rajapaksa

Voters queue up at a polling station to cast their ballots during the country's presidential election in Colombo on November 16, 2019.

Sri Lankans voted on November 16 for a new president in what could mark a comeback for the Rajapaksa clan, lauded by supporters for crushing the Tamil Tigers but condemned by critics for war crimes, corruption and cosying up to China.

(Photograph:AFP)

A new leader

Sri Lanka's President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives to take the oath of office during his swearing-in ceremony at the Ruwanwelisaya temple in Anuradhapura on November 18, 2019.

Rajapaksa was sworn in at a Buddhist temple revered by his core Sinhalese nationalist supporters, following an election victory that triggered fear and concern among the island's Tamil and Muslim minority communities.

(Photograph:AFP)